I've been thinking a lot about my upcoming empty nest lately.
Missy is about to turn fifteen. My handsome oldest son Tiger will be thirteen at the end of this month. Trailing closely behind him is my Bucket, nearly twelve.
My days of close-at-hand parenting are coming to an end. I see it already. The kids making decisions about their future. Talking about "someday when I have my own house." My youngest sons bold exclamation that his kids will never, ever have to eat a vegetable, as he won't allow them in his house. They're growing up SO QUICKLY and it just takes my breath away. We're getting mailings from the local college, and their backpacks weigh more than most toddlers. How did this happen? Where did my babies go? I can't fit all three of them in the bathroom anymore, never mind the bathtub! Speaking of the bathroom, one bottle of shampoo doesn't cut it anymore. They all need different bottles, and they're all expensive. No more fishy-shaped bottles of coconut shampoo that cost a buck.
I know this is supposed to happen, but it makes me sad and proud at the same time. Proud that I've raised three great kids to nearly adulthood. Sad because the purpose of my life for the past fifteen years seems to be fading away. Wondering, what happens next? Do I become a career woman and throw myself into work friendships and conferences with bad coffee? Do I finally insist on the reversal and have more babies? Do I adopt or foster? Or do I become a professional student, or maybe a constant volunteer? Because, honestly, I cannot imagine being in this house all the time with no children in it. I love my home, but I love it because my kids are in it. And for it to be empty...I don't know if I can bear it.
In about six years, all of my children will be adults. And if Missy follows my footsteps, I will be a grandmother in five years. That just blows my mind. I was a mama at age 20. Will she do the same? Will Bucket be able to live on his own, or will he stay with us? Will Tiger get that music scholarship to UF that he wants so badly?
I sure wish the Lord would give me insight on how this all plays out, but I guess He is being silent for me to learn a lesson in patience.